Fantasy football start vs. sit: Line-up advice for the Week 4 NFL slate

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Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson (5) runs for a touchdown against the Houston Texans in the first half of an NFL football game in Houston, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

The NFL season continues to move along, as Week 4 began with the Detroit Lions taking care of business against the Green Bay Packers. Dan Campbell’s bunch has established themselves as the favorites to win the NFC North.

From a fantasy football perspective, it was a good day for most Lions’ players, unless you started running back Jahmyr Gibbs. The first-round draft pick took a back seat to David Montgomery on Thursday Night Football, which has become one of the more surprising storylines to start the 2023 NFL season.

Detroit’s backfield decisions have served as a valuable lesson for most fantasy football managers. Just because a team spends a lot of money or a high pick on a player, doesn’t always mean he will be as involved as we anticipate.

Perhaps that will help us make our start decision for the remainder of Week 4 and beyond. Let’s dive into our favorite start and sit choices for the upcoming weekend.

Quarterbacks

Start: Anthony Richardson

Don’t be concerned about Richardson missing last week’s win over the Baltimore Ravens. As long as the rookie Colts QB can play, we will be starting him. He’s that much of a fantasy asset due to his dual-threat ability. Also, consider Richardson anytime touchdown odds at plus-money until further notice. Sportsbooks made the mistake of offering +140 or longer odds in each of the first two weeks.

Sit: Joe Burrow

Gibbs has taught us to not blindly follow our own draft capital, and just because you spent a high pick on Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow, doesn’t mean you have to start him. Burrow’s calf injury remains a concern, and until we see more from him and this offense, consider other options in a deep position.

Running backs

Start: James Conner

It would be easy to fade Conner this week in a matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, but the Arizona Cardinals continue to exceed expectations. The Cardinals have covered the spread in three straight games, including an outright win over the Dallas Cowboys last week. Just because there is a two-touchdown spread for this game, don’t expect the game script to go according to plan.

Sit: Jerome Ford

With Deshuan Watson’s status in doubt for this weekend, the Browns might turn to rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson for his first NFL start. That doesn’t bode well for running back Jerome Ford, who has stepped in for Nick Chubb after he suffered a season-ending injury. I’d consider sitting Ford in a matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

Wide receivers

Start: Courtland Sutton

Someone has to win this week’s matchup between the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears, and the former has the edge via the betting odds. Sutton could be the biggest beneficiary of some increased scoring for the Broncos, though he’s already done a solid job of leading the team with a 25.1% target share.

Sit: Drake London

This week’s matchup in London features the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars. The Falcons have had plenty of limitations in their passing offense through three weeks, a trend that should continue against a stingy Jaguars pass defense. London is averaging just five targets per game and remains a sit until we see more progress from Atlanta’s passing attack.

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